Teen Pregnancy

Courtney Langley FSHS 603 6/5/13

The Stressful Truth

Teen pregnancy is a non-normative stressor. In a perfect world pregnancy would only occur once the couple is married, however, the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world (Do, 2013). In Hill's ABC-X Model, the teen pregnancy represents the event or situation (A). Resources (B) can vary for teen mothers, some have their family and friends to help support them as well as the baby's father, but in not so lucky cases, the mother can be left alone forcing her to turn to welfare for support. The perception (C) of the pregnancy can also fluctuate depending on what the mother's situation is. Some teen moms get pregnant by their boyfriend or a one night stand, but some are from a rape incident or even incest actions. Lastly, the degree of stress (X) placed on the pregnant teen can change from low to high to even a crisis state of mind. If the girl has no outside help or support, the situation seems much more like a crisis than a less serious stressful event.
Children of unmarried mothers “suffer more school failure, behavioral problems, drug use, and a greater likelihood of becoming single parents themselves" (Marcus, 2013).


1. 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20.

2. 8 out of 10 teen dads don’t marry the mother of their child.

3. More than half of teen mothers never graduate from high school.

4. Less than 2 percent of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30.

5. About 1/4 teen moms have a second child within 24 months of their first baby.

Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model (Karney, 1995)

Facing everyday hassles is hard enough for teenagers who are growing and changing into the person they want to be, but these young girls who become mothers early in life have no idea the stress they are in for. In this model, the chance occurrence is the young teen becoming pregnant. This is an unexpected but not impossible situation that numerous teens have to face. The enduring vulnerabilities are the choices the young teens make in order to get themselves in the position to become pregnant. There are multiple forms of contraceptives, yet many teens choose not to practice safe sex. Both of these realities lead to everyday hassles. The hassles become much more complicated when there is another life involved. The young mother can no longer come and go as she pleases, she must take into account the time and effort it takes to bring her baby along. The adaptive processes of becoming a responsible parent and a mature mother at a young age can also add to the everyday hassles as well as the family's well-being. If the mother chooses to live life for herself only instead of for her child and then herself, the well-being of the family will be in jeopardy. If the child is not properly cared for and the mother does not step up to fulfill the role she has been given, life becomes even more stressful than it already was the moment she found out she was going to be a mother.


  1. Hill, R. (1958). ABC-X Model of Family Crisis. Retrieved from: Weber, J.(2011). Individual and Family Stress and Crisis. California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
  2. Kearney (1995). Vulnerability-Stress-Adaption Model. Retrieved from: Price, S., Price, C., McKenry, P.(2010). Families and Change: Coping with Stressful Events and Transitions. California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
  3. Marcus, R. (2013). Truth-telling on Teen Pregnancy. Washington Post.
  4. www.dosomething.org
  5. www.googleimages.com/teenpregnancy